Reckless drivers in B.C. will soon have to pay more when they’re caught.
As of Nov. 1, penalty amounts for dangerous, impaired and distracted driving offences will go up by 20 per cent to help cut down ICBC’s nearly $1-billion shortfall.
The two programs involved are the Driver Risk Premium and the Driver Penalty Point premium:
- The Driver Risk Premium program, which is charged annually to drivers convicted of offences such as excessive speeding, impaired driving, who have had roadside suspensions or prohibitions or two or more distracted driving violations,
- The Driver Penalty Point premium, which is charged for collecting four or more points from traffic violations. The premium amount depends on the total number of points accumulated in a 12-month period.
“Reckless drivers put others at risk, and they’re contributing to the rise in crashes we’re seeing on our roads,” said Attorney General David Eby on Tuesday.
Drivers who don’t pay within 60 days will be charged 19.6 per cent in interest. Those who can’t pay can reduce or eliminate penalties by surrendering their driver’s licence.
The charges must be paid when drivers renew their insurance or get a new licence, on top of the fines or tickets paid at the time of the offence.
The province says money raised through the program will lower basic insurance premiums so safe drivers can pay less.
Currently, the Driver Penalty Point premium ranges from $175 for four points to $24,000 for 50 or more points.
The 20-per-cent hike will see that go up to $210 for four points and $28,800 for 50 or more points, potentially netting ICBC $26 million in penalties in 2019.
Penalties will rise by another 20 per cent in Nov. 2019.